Friday, July 5, 2024

"Do not call me 'lord,' for I am a lady," Bassiana / Elegabalus in Zonoras' History

[Bassiana / Elegabalus] was not content with this alone; they also raced chariots, danced, and even wanted to be a bride. They wanted to be bound legally to their husband, whom they titled Caesar. They enjoyed being called “lady” and “empress,” wore a veil, spun wool, and used makeup. They shaved their face to seem feminine. Their husband was a former slave named Hierocles...

When he said to them, “Hail, Lord Emperor,” they would curtsy like a woman, and replied with a wink, “Don’t call me, ‘lord,’ for I am a lady.”

--Joannas Zonaras, Historiae Romanae Excerpta XIV

...neque bis flagitiis contentus, aurigabat, saltabat, nubere etiam volebat, ut unum legitimum maritum haberet, quem Caesarem designaret: ac dominae et imperatricis nomine gaudebat, calauticam gestans, et lanam tractans, et genas pingens. semel quoquo barbam abrasit, ut glabra et laevi facie muliercula videretur, cuius mulierculae maritus erat Caricum mancipium, nomine Hierocles. ...qui cum ei dixisset: "salve, domine imperator", ille muliebri mollitie collo inclinato, et oculis nonnihil conniventibus: "ne me dominum", inquit, "dixeris, domina enim sum".  

[1070 – 1140 CE, Constantinople]

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